52 CAN DOs Tip #7: Measure the ‘Cost’ vs. The Expense

52 CAN DOs Tip #7: Measure the 'Cost' vs. The Expense

We’ve heard it all before. Eating healthy costs more. Who has time for exercise? However when we consider the price of consuming products that are doing more harm than good to our bodies or not making the time to exercise regularly –even if it’s only 5 minutes a day, What will it cost in the end?

The USDA national food intake data recently reported latest numbers for a four-member family weekly food budget — from $146 (“thrifty” food plan based on SNAP-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to $239 (liberal food plan) a week .Some food waste is built into these costs.

BEFORE: $1000 per month Food Budget

Monthly takeout food (meals prepared outside of the home) for 5 days a week, amounted to $100 weekly or $400 a month (pizza, sandwiches, ethnic takeout). Next, their grocery bill for staple items such as cereal, frozen foods, juice, meats, eggs, amounted to $150 weekly or $600 per month. Total food budget for Janet’s family? $1,000 per month!

AFTER: $840 per month Food Budget

Family takeout night was reduced from 5 days to only 1 day per week (a reduction of 60% at $40 weekly, $160 per month). The savings was added to their weekly grocery budget increasing it to $190 weekly or $920 per month. Since adapting the 7S Formula, Janet’s family found that $190 per week was more than enough and so further reduced their weekly grocery budget to $170.  Their Total food budget including takeout was now $840 per month – a savings of over 15% for healthier groceries!

The  “7S” Formula stands for seven categories of healthy meal ideas that begin with the letter “S” –soups, stews, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, stir-fry’s  and snacks. With the 7S Formula Janet saves time and money by repurposing meat and using leftovers.

  1. Meat is repurposed. Janet buys a whole chicken (instead of chicken parts in packages) and uses it in 3 or 4 different meals that are loaded with fresh vegetables such as chicken chili stew, or chicken ginger stir-fry. Because the quantity of meat is reduced, the family can afford to spend more on the quality of meat –buying organic and grass-fed over chicken laden with hormones and antibiotics (2) Leftovers from stir-fry’s, soups and stews are used for dinner the next night.

Janet’s New Exercise Routine

Janet’s exercise system was two-fold:

(1) HIIT (high intensity interval training) at home – a series of high intense exercises like crunches, squats, push-ups etc. done for 20 seconds, followed by 10 second rest for 8 rounds. Complete once a day, 6 days a week over the course of 6 weeks for a muscle toning, fat burning exercise that lasts about 4 min. 20 sec. per session.

  1. Dancing Machine: Janet and her daughters put on their favorite CD’s and dance hard non-stop for 10 minutes until they work up a sweat.

Janet cannot wait to visit her doctor next month to measure her progress!

This New Year, millions of people will make resolutions, but the question is, like Janet will you R.I.S.E to the challenge. (Resolve to be Inspired to find Solutions to stay Empowered!)

Disclaimer: Please consult your medical practitioner before starting any new fitness, dietary programs or exercise activity.


Monifa Maat is a certified fitness expert, nutrition activist and author of Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow™. Her mission is to inspire people to adopt simple, sustainable healthy habits that reduce chronic lifestyle diseases associated with obesity, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.